Spaghetti Ga Ga photography by Chris Osburn
Inviting us to lunch at the few month's old Sushi Ga Ga - and taking precious time out of an especially buzzing schedule - was its owner and London restauranteur extraordinaire, Geoffrey Leong. While stuffing our faces, Geoff filled our brains with a crash course in restaurant management, marketing and keeping a step ahead of the crowd with respect to what's hip on the oriental food front. It seems the team behind Leong's restos keep a particularly close eye on the dining scene of Hong Kong. And according to Geoff, there's a growing trend in HK, as well as the Chinese mainland and Japan, to fuse Western and Eastern cuisines and move from fast food to comfort food.
Sushi Ga Ga is his London Chinatown vision of this trend and offers amusingly tasty dishes in a manner that seems to buck tradition and cast aside worries about blending upscale with downmarket or sophistication with broad appeal. We really liked tucking into the “Wagu Beef” sashimi (£13.50 for five pieces) as well as the Wagu nigiri (£3 each). Butter-like yellowtail sashimi (£10.50 for five pieces) was equally delectable. More usual sushi suspects such as eel nigiri (£2.30) and California rolls (£2.80 for six pieces) did not disappoint.
There's the sushi; now for the “ga ga”. Ebi siu mai (prawn dumplings, £4 for six pieces) with a dab of mustard was yummy while wasabi prawns (£5) presented with a light tempura coat, a vibrant swab of wasabi mayo and dangling from sticks on a thick cutting board delighted our eyes as much as our palates. A whole lot better than we ever would have imagined, we're almost embarrassed to admit how moreish we found our plate of Spaghetti Ga Ga (fresh ramen cooked with minced wagu beef tomato sauce, £7.50).
Service was charming and never allowed our cup of green tea to empty (but, of course, we were there with the owner). Vivid and casual, the dining area was a pleasant setting for enjoying Sushi Ga Ga's dishes.
Best with a group of foodie friends to ensure an adventurous romp of the menu, Sushi Ga Ga is a fun place to dine. Located at 16 Lisle Street (WC2H 7BE) in Chinatown, more about the restaurant can be found at www.sushigaga.com.